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Italy’s Supreme Court to Rule on Tonino Perna

The court of Isernia, Italy, contested the fact that a court in Italy’s Campobasso last month decided that Perna was no longer bound to prison.

MILAN — Italy’s Supreme Court will be asked to rule on Tonino Perna’s release from jail.

The court of Isernia, Italy, contested the fact that a court in Italy’s Campobasso last month decided that Perna, founder and former chairman and chief executive officer of the IT Holding SpA group, was no longer bound to prison, overruling a previous verdict by the court in Isernia. Hence the latter’s appeal to the Supreme Court on Monday.

The entrepreneur was arrested in January on charges of criminal bankruptcy and tax evasion. Following Perna’s arrest in Isernia, where IT Holding’s former manufacturing arm Ittierre SpA is based, the executive’s lawyer, Marco Franco, appealed for his release and the unfreezing of his personal assets, including villas in Rome, Capri and Sardinia, valued at around 20 million euros, or $25.4 million.

According to a legal source, Perna was jailed as a precaution to avoid his tampering with evidence and the recurrence of crime, and was released because the judge who reexamined the verdict stated there was “no such risk” and annulled the previous decision. Perna’s release does not mean he has been cleared, as a trial appears to be the next likely step. No court date has been set.

Perna is accused of using 61 million euros, or $77.6 million, of funds meant for IT Holding for other purposes, including allegedly for his personal real estate.

IT Holding, which owned Ittierre, Gianfranco Ferré and Malo, among others, went public in 1997 but went into government-backed bankruptcy protection in 2009. After two years, Ittierre was sold to Albisetti, and Ferré and Malo now operate under new owners, Paris Group and Evante, respectively.